We live in two different Americas.

Melinda Hoye,
Akron, OH

Our Hidden Conversations helped me to put words to a heavy sentiment, that I have tried to express over and over but couldn’t quite communicate my feelings. When first opening the book, I couldn’t come up with six words. It wasn’t until I read Michele’s excerpt, “The Photo at the Front Door”. I read the first two paragraphs, took a pause, and then looked at the table sitting in my foyer. I then thought, I should do the same thing. Why? Because I am a Black women, with black daughters and a six foot, bald headed, broad shouldered, athletic build, Black husband, who does yard work in cover-all’s and Timberland boots. I live at the top of a cul-de-sac in a predominantly White community. We are new to the neighborhood, and God forbid a neighbor calls the police because they saw the “yard man” entering our home. I then resumed reading. The following paragraph said the previous was a litmus test where half of the readers would asked “Why would she do that?” and the other half would respond “Maybe I should do that too.” I bust out laughing and my six words, my truth, my perception, what I have been trying to communicate since the year 1986 being 1 of 3 Black girls in the 6th grade class at an elite, privileged all-girls private school: WE LIVE IN TWO DIFFERENT AMERICAS.
So many more stories and statements left an impression in my soul. I can write a book in response to Our Hidden Conversations. But, here are a few quick excerpts that still resonates with me: Flesh Colored Band-Aids are racist; I wish he was a girl; Native to America but feel like an Immigrant; 55 mph means you Black Man; Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung; Robert Kelly’s wife was NOT the nanny (gasp)- my husband and I laughed about that blooper for days, and we regrettably called her the nanny. I can go on and on. Thank you Michele for this work. I am 50 eve years old, my birthday is in November. This book is a defining moment in my life and my belief system as I transition to the next phase. Well done! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! (bowing before you)

What is your 6-Word Story?
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